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Thursday, March 04, 2010, 09:55 am PT (12:55 pm ET)

Apple to offer developers simple tools for monetizing iPhone apps

Apple's push into the mobile advertising space could include tools to allow developers to simply integrate advertisements into App Store software for the iPhone and iPad in the same manner that they add other graphical or interface elements to their apps.

Apple recently posted a new job listing seeking a "Senior Interactive Web Developer" for a position located in Boston. The job description provides some insight into Apple's future plans in the advertising business, stating that the iPhone maker seeks to "redefine" ads on mobile devices.

The position will have the person develop a front-end Web user interface for "Development of compelling, interactive digital advertising experiences." The Senior Interactive Developer will "be involved in client discussions, proof-of-concept coding, working with and adding to the existing framework, production deliverables and more."

"Strong web technology fundamentals are a must, but you have more," Apple added. "You’ve worked with code libraries and frameworks and have extended them to suit your needs, sometimes creating your own."

The description may be enough to suggest that Apple, by designing a proprietary mobile advertising framework to be included as part of future versions of the iPhone Software Developers Kit, could make it as trivial for developers to add advertisement placements to their applications as it currently is to add buttons or interface controls.

This would free developers to focus on improving the functionality and quality of their applications without worrying about monetization techniques, which would instead be handled by Apple and made accessible via simple function calls. Once implemented, it's also likely that Apple will offer developers — or the software publishers they work for — flexibility in customizing and filtering advertisements through an addition to the iTunes Connect web interface.

The details should come as no surprise following Apple's acquisition of mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless early this year. Andy Miller, former CEO of Quattro Wireless, was named vice president of mobile advertising with Apple.

Last month, Apple also hired two experienced mobile advertising employees for high-profile positions in Europe. In Apple's quarterly earnings conference call in January, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said the purchase of Quattro Wireless was a step in allowing developers a "seamless way to make more money on their apps, especially free apps."

While Apple is new to the ad business, its App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad includes a wealth of free applications available that are often supported by advertising. And with the huge success of the App Store, now with more than 140,000 options and counting, Apple sees advertising as an important revenue opportunity in the company's future.

Prior to the Quattro purchase, Apple allegedly had discussions with competing mobile ad agency AdMob. That firm was eventually acquired by Google for $750 million, and the deal is pending approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.